Senator Lindsey Graham announced that the Judiciary Committee would debate and vote on authorizing the subpoena of 52 people involved in the illegal attempted coup of President Donald Trump, a.k.a. the FISA abuse investigation and oversight of Crossfire Hurricane.
Graham’s subpoena authorization covers a number of documents, communications and testimony from witnesses, including James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Clapper, John Brennan, Sally Yates, and others.
The subpoena authorization will be first listed on the agenda for the Committee’s executive business meeting on May 21, 2020. The Committee is expected to vote on the subpoena authorization at its June 4, 2020 executive business meeting.
Background on Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena authorizations:
- Under Senate Judiciary Committee rules, the Chairman cannot unilaterally issue a subpoena. The Chairman can ONLY issue a subpoena with the consent of the Ranking Member or by a Committee vote.
- If approved by a majority of the Committee, the subpoena authorization gives the Chairman the ability to issue a subpoena for witnesses, documents or other materials.
- Subpoena authorization votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee are not common. Chairman Graham will use the precedent set by Chairman Leahy as a guideline for this subpoena authorization vote. On September 25, 2008, the Committee authorized subpoenas by party line vote.
Witnesses, documents and other materials covered by Graham’s subpoena authorization:
- Documents and communications referenced in, and testimony at a hearing or deposition of any individual named or identified by pseudonym in, the report titled “Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation” issued by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General
- Documents and communications related to, and the testimony at a hearing or deposition of any current or former executive branch official or employee involved in, the Crossfire Hurricane investigation (including investigations opened under the Crossfire Hurricane umbrella) or the receipt or analysis of reports prepared by Christopher Steele (commonly referred to as the “Steele dossier”)
- Documents, communications and testimony at a hearing or deposition related to any aforementioned matter from:
Trisha Anderson, Brian Auten, James Baker, William Barr, Dana Boente, Jennifer Boone, John Brennan, James Clapper, Kevin Clinesmith, James Comey, Patrick Conlon, Michael Dempsey, Stuart Evans, Tashina Gauhar, Carl Ghattas, Curtis Heide, Kathleen Kavalec, David Laufman, Stephen Laycock, Jacob Lew, Loretta Lynch, Andrew McCabe, Mary McCord, Denis McDonough, Arthur McGlynn, Jonathan Moffa, Sally Moyer, Mike Neufield, Sean Newell, Victoria Nuland, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Stephanie L. O’Sullivan, Lisa Page, Joseph Pientka, John Podesta, Samantha Power, E.W. “Bill” Priestap, Sarah Raskin, Steve Ricchetti, Susan Rice, Rod Rosenstein, Gabriel Sanz-Rexach, Nathan Sheets, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Glenn Simpson, Steve Somma, Peter Strzok, Michael Sussman, Adam Szubin, Jonathan Winer, Christopher Wray, and Sally Yates.
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) May 18, 2020
Justice should be measured, not vindictive. Punishing General Flynn when the government wants to drop the charges reeks of vindictive justice — and I hope Judge Sullivan will not go down this road turning our legal system upside-down. pic.twitter.com/lBhxwLonLD
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 18, 2020
The committee will debate and vote June 4 on whether to issue the subpoenas, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary panel.
The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain the spy warrants.
FBI officials withheld information that undermined the credibility of the dossier and its author, Christopher Steele, the IG report noted.
Graham is hoping to subpoena former FBI officials and agents who oversaw Crossfire Hurricane. Many of the proposed witnesses are well known to the public, including Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. But Graham is also requesting subpoenas for agents whose names have not appeared as prominently in the press.
One of those is Stephen Somma, an FBI counterintelligence agent who has been identified as “Case Agent 1” in the IG report. The report said that Somma was “primarily responsible” for some of the most significant errors during Crossfire Hurricane.
Somma was the agent who drafted the applications for surveillance orders against Carter Page. The IG report said that he failed to disclose exculpatory information related to Page.
Somma also took part in an interview in January 2017 with Christopher Steele’s primary source of information for the dossier. The interview was arranged by David Laufman, another potential Graham witness who served as chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division through 2018.
In that interview, Steele’s source disputed many of the key allegations that Steele published in the dossier. The FBI and Justice Department withheld that information in the FBI’s final two applications to surveil Page. Because of that omission and others, the Justice Department invalidated the two FISA orders.